TWO men posing as members of the military held up a gasoline station manager who was about to deposit sales from the long weekend.
Dressed in fatigue jackets and jeans, they stopped the vehicle of Achilles Bontia, 65, along the highway in Barangay Dawis Norte, Carmen.
They told Bontia they were going to inspect him on suspicion that he was carrying drugs.
The incident happened around 9:15 a.m. yesterday.
Bontia said he was carrying a clutch bag containing P890,000 and some checks that made up the sales of the Mt. Zion Petron gasoline station in Ba-rangay Cogon West, Carmen.
He was on his way to a bank in Danao City. (The banks only opened yesterday after these closed last Dec. 30 for the holiday.)
The clutch bag was in the front seat. One of them grabbed the bag and they both fled towards Danao City in a black motorcycle.
Cebu Provincial Police Chief Jesus Gaquing said Carmen Police Chief Carlos Reyes led the hot pursuit against the two.
Seeing how the two men carried out the operation, Gaquing believes they belong to a professional robbery syndicate, possibly based in Mindanao. He also noted that the heist was carefully planned.
He said it was possible they arrived in Cebu during the Christmas season but only found the opportunity to pull the robbery yesterday.
As for the claims they were members of the military, Gaquing said the fatigues were only meant to disguise themselves.
He assured that all angles will be explored in the investigation.
Yesterday afternoon, Reyes and his team found more witnesses to the crime as it happened in an area where there were several bystanders nearby.
There were reports that the robbers were not actually dressed in fatigues but in black jackets while there were reports that they wore cloth masks.
Bontia, however, said they were in fatigues. He will be asked to give a description of the two men so a cartographic sketch can be made.